As web technologies evolve, UI design trends continue to spread influence across all areas of design. One of these trends is the increased use of illustration. Where stock photography once dominated the screen, many brands are switching to unique, custom illustrations that are more ownable and do not come with any copyright restrictions.
While stock photography may capture a certain emotional connection that illustrations may not quite achieve, their ability to scale while retaining their high quality is often struggling to keep up as our screens are quickly increasing in size.
Web graphics need to be flexible to work across all browsers, platforms and devices. This is where illustration really shines. With the emergence of SVG (Scalable Vector Graphics), illustrative graphics are able to scale losslessly and at any size. Some brands are dropping photography all together and fully embracing illustration to visually communicate their message.
Are we witnessing the beginning of the end of stock photography? Probably not. But, it seems evident that illustration will continue to increasingly play a major role in brand communications.